Pet Corner - For the love and health of your beloved pets

Dogs. Who doesn’t love them? They embody all of the very qualities we wish we could find in humans. Let’s explore how dogs can teach us a little bit about unconditional love and acceptance.

Unlike us human, dogs have an amazing ability to live in the present moment. They don’t live in the past or worry about the future. They don’t nurse grudges or hold onto resentments. They don’t drive themselves crazy wondering what every little word or gesture meant. They don’t jealously protect themselves from getting hurt. They just live in the moment and have the innate ability to enjoy every waking moment. They live each day as if it were their last and they love with every fiber of their being, regardless of any trauma they might have suffered in their past.  

What strikes me most about past trauma in dogs and how it differs from us humans is they forgive and forget. They don’t try to protect themselves from present or future emotional pain by walling themselves off from present love and affection. They love with gusto. That takes courage. That takes emotional freedom. Most dogs who have been abused and/or neglected in the past have lived much harsher, more deplorable lives than we have, yet we love to bemoan about our difficult, traumatic pasts and how that affects our present ability to enjoy happiness and love in our present. In this way, we can learn the most from dogs. Perhaps if we paid more attention to the lessons our dogs are teaching us, the world would be a much happier place and the people that we meet, care for and love would be able to accept us as we are, dents, flaws, and all. 

It’s not surprising that dogs can destroy our houses, cost us financially, and create all around havoc in our lives yet we continue to love and accept them. I’ve never met a single human being who hasn’t banished humans for far less offenses. It’s amazing that we can love dogs more than we can love each other, but then again, when’s the last time your spouse has jumped on you and licked your face the moment you opened your door at the end of a hard day?

Catherine Howland is a professional pet sitter based in Calais. For more information please visit